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Power Down - Career Services

February 19, 2016

Looking for a job in sustainability? We talked with Mylène Kerschner, Associate Director at Career Services, to learn more about the Career Services office and how they can help you get that dream job! Career Services is a 2016 Power Down Partner. 

 

Green Campus Partnership: What is Career Services and what are some of the services you provide?

Mylène Kerschner: Career Services is a central office that serves all undergraduates in all schools and all graduate students, aside from those in the MBA program and from the other professional schools. We assist students in finding academic jobs and also professional jobs. We also have a separate team that helps with graduate school applications.

So when it comes to our services, we do a lot. We survey students to see what their results are after summer internships as well as full-time opportunities and collect salary information not just to see what they make in the industry but also what Penn students are earning.

We have a lot of workshops for writing resumes and cover letters, [navigating] OCR and talking about difficult things such as a semester with a bad GPA. We even host mock-interviews. We can help students use our search engines like PennLink to find job postings. And we can point them to more targeted job boards. We also help students with negotiating offers when they get to that point of the process.

If you have no idea at all what you want to do, that’s a great time to talk to Career Services. You don’t have to have a plan to talk to us! We have counselors who can help you understand where your strengths are and what positions might be a good fit for you, using personality tests and other tools.

 

GCP: We’re excited to have Career Services as a partner for this year’s Power Down Challenge. What does Power Down or sustainability more generally mean to you and Career Services?

Mylène: For me, it means being mindful of your own impact and, even as an individual, how you can make a difference day-to-day. As career professionals, if we are able to help students find an opportunity where they can exert their passion for sustainability, we are happy to point them in the right direction. And one way we can help is with summer funding, so if students have an opportunity that is un- or underfunded they can submit a proposal and potentially get funding.

 

GCP: For students looking specifically at careers in sustainability, how would you recommend getting started?

Mylène: The first thing that I always think of is the All Ivy Sustainability Career Fair held every spring at Columbia. There are so many cool companies that attend and even being there as a full time staff member I have thought, wow what an awesome opportunity, I want to work there! Even if you’re not able to attend, you can look through their website to see what companies are attending.

PennLink is also a really good resource, even if it’s not finance and consulting you’re looking for. You can use the saved search function to save your search and get an email alert when there is a new posting. iNet is also a great resource, for internships only, which is like PennLink but for an 11-school consortium which Penn belongs to, so with a larger base than PennLink.

Networking is also huge. There are two resources I recommend all students check out. The first is LinkedIn; you should set-up a profile − it doesn’t need to be a super robust profile but at least the bare bones. Then use LinkedIn.com/alumni, which will give you information on all Penn alumni. With this, you can do any specific search to find people who fit your criteria. From there, you can use the second resource, which is QuakerNet, and find emails and other contact info to get your questions right in their inbox. QuakerNet is a directory that allows students to connect with current students and Penn alum.

 

 

Penn Career Services is hosting a “Careers in Sustainability Panel”, Thursday, February 25th, from 5:30-6:30pm in Irvine Auditorium, Café 58. The panel includes Penn alumni working in sustainable jobs across a variety of industries including energy, environment, government, and education. Learn how they found their opportunities, what they did as undergraduates to prepare for their careers, and what they see as the biggest challenges facing sustainability today!

 

For more on Career Services, visit their website here

Image Copyright: Penn Career Services

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